PLANS to build a new GP surgery as part of a controversial housing development on a former golf course may not go ahead.

The Banks Group, which is developing land on the former Mount Oswald golf course, in the south of Durham City, says it is still looking at options for part of the site which was earmarked for community facilities.

The group has never applied for full planning permission for a surgery, but in February 2013 was given permission for 291 homes and a community hub, which it said could include shops and medical facility.

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It is understood the group has not had any expressions of interest from anyone to run the surgery but has had interest from two national supermarkets in opening a convenience store.

John Ruddick, Banks Group project manager for Mount Oswald, said: “A medical centre has always been just one of a number of options for this building since planning was originally discussed in 2012.

“A planning application specifically for medical centre use has never been submitted and we are still looking at potential options for this part of the Mount Oswald site.

“The Mount Oswald development is moving forward very successfully with new families moving in every week. The first phase of landscaping and new areas of open space, including children’s play areas, in the north west part of the site is expected to be completed by late summer.”

Local councillor Liz Brown, who has been involved in meetings with the developer, said: “We were promised facilities and it seems what we are getting is a convenience store.

“I’m dismayed that the impact of these extra people on the infrastructure of Durham has not been thought through.

“Providing a doctors surgery was a step in the right direction but it seems that once again residents are being forgotten.”

She added; “The surgeries in Durham are already overcrowded. It seems to me that the infrastructure is not there.”

A planning application is currently pending for a block of 850-bed student accommodation on the site.

Councillors on Durham County Council’s planning committee were due to decide on the proposals this month but it was deferred to the next meeting.

Durham University is also planning to build a college with 1,000 beds on land it owns at Mount Oswald.